Is the Snap On Smile for everyone?
What is a Snap On Smile?
I recently had a good friend ask me about the Snap on Smile; her front teeth are bulky, crowded and uneven. She was really interested in having cosmetic dental treatments and realized it's quite involved, costly and will take some time. Since I have access to many reputable professionals in the dental industry, I decided to do some research on her behalf:
The name says it all, a custom fit arch of perfectly aligned teeth and shade that snaps right over your teeth in order to give you that perfect smile. But is it the perfect solution?
Does the Snap On Smile really work?
I started my research by reading anything and everything I could find about the Snap on Smile, I read a lot of positive and negative reviews, but the first impression summary of the product was:
· It Does not require drilling, 2 visits and you have your new perfect smile
· A perfect solution for just about everyone
· For Anyone who can't afford to pay for the perfect Hollywood
I wanted to take these key highlights and start asking the experts what they think, many of these experts offer this product in their office and they gave me their honest opinion since we work together all the time and I always rely on their expert advice.
DOES NOT REQUIRE DRILLING - This is true, the product does not require any drilling and is a perfect option for someone that has been avoiding the dentist for years due to anxiety and fear of drilling. In the first visit, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth, you pick a shade, the impression is sent to a lab, three weeks later; you come back in for a final fitting and delivery of your new smile. Sounds great right?
One of my experts pointed out a few concerns. If the patient has anxiety about drilling, it possibly means they haven't visited the dentist in years and may have many serious issues happening in their mouth such as periodontal disease and decay. Creating a snap-on appliance to go over their decayed teeth would not be very ethical, it's important to address the immediate issues first, than go for something cosmetic. The tight spaces between the snap-on-smile and the natural teeth is the perfect habitat for bacteria to thrive, someone that has decay and gum problems can increase the progression of these problems by covering them up and not dealing with them first. He suggested having a professional cleaning and exam to address the essential treatments first before moving forward with the Snap-On-Smile. So, you should keep in mind that you may incur additional costs to fix existing issues in your mouth before any good, experienced, ethical dentist will provide you with this product.
Your Snap on Smile is as good as the dentist you choose, one expert mentioned to me that some of his colleagues had a very difficult time with the fit and on many occasions the product had to be sent back to the manufacturer, a new impression taken and took longer than the patient expected. To the defense of the manufacturer, the lab creating the new arch has to rely on a perfect impression taken by the dentist. So guess what, Garbage in…Garbage out. Make sure you choose a quality dental office and a good dentist first.
A PERFECT SOLUTION FOR JUST ABOUT EVERYONE - "Just about" is the key word, assuming your teeth and gums are healthy first, and you are seeking this solution for a quick, cost effective, cosmetic solution because you have
1. Crooked and uneven teeth
2. Small teeth, or want to increase the height of the tooth structures
3. Gaps between your teeth
4. Stains or cracks
5. You have ongoing treatments and in the interim you want to always display a perfect smile
In regards to my friend’s situation, non of the above applied, the dentists I asked, pointed out a few observations worth mentioning:
- It is a snap-on item, it means you are adding bulk without filing down the tooth structure; you must keep this in mind when you're considering this product and you already have large bulky teeth you're trying to make smaller and more uniform.
- If you had prior orthodontic treatments and you are not regularly wearing your space maintainer, or your teeth shift for any reason, the product will not snap in place correctly and a new one must be made, otherwise damage can occur to your gum line and the arch will not be stable during chewing.
- The manufacturer says it can be considered either a temporary or permanent solution. Don't get your hopes up too much, there's nothing permanent about a product that snaps out of your mouth.
FOR ANYONE THAT CAN'T AFFORD THE PERFECT HOLLYWOOD SMILE - It is true, dentistry, especially good dentistry, is quite costly. Most cosmetic procedures are not covered by dental insurance; therefore the Snap-On-Smile is viewed as the perfect solution for most people seeking that perfect smile with a budget, so how much is too much? the cost is anywhere between $1200 to $1800. It's important for you to do some research and find out how much it will cost you to have your permanent cosmetic treatments performed. You might be two veneers and whitening away from having that perfect smile which runs you anywhere between $2200 to $2400. Do the comparison in order to make an informed decision.
The Snap-On-Smile comes with a 1 year limited warranty, which the manufacturer mentions can be extended. Read all the details, it might look like a great deal, but if you do the comparisons and the math, it might cost you more long term if you have to replace it once or twice during a five year period.
As for my friend, although the manufacturer states it's a perfect solution for just about everyone, it turned out to be the worst solution for her, she is looking to have smaller, less bulky, perfectly aligned teeth and this product cannot provide her that since it would be adding bulk on top of her teeth and her smile would look worse than it does now.
Doctor Saliba at Selective Dentistry - George Saliba DDS in Corona Del Mar, CA says that not one product, veneers, crowns, implants, snap-on-smile is a perfect solution that fits everyone, it's important for you to find a good dental office, that first cares about your oral health and you must rely on the opinion of your dental professional to guide you in the right direction based on your dental needs.
Doctor Saliba says "A castle cannot be built or withstand the test of times if not built on a strong foundation" , he urges everyone to brush regularly and correctly. If the Snap on Smile is the perfect fit for you, go for it, but make sure you do so knowing all the facts and the proper care instructions for the product and your natural teeth.
Remember, your were born with a precious gift called a smile, It is estimated that there are 6,554,526,725 people, 193 countries, over 6000 languages on earth but we all share one thing in common, a smile, learn to love yours and remember to share a smile with someone daily.
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